When I started this blog I continually went to Google to see if I came up in the search.  I did some research and found that you can “register” your URL with Google.  You can go to Google’s Add URL page and do the same.  I am not sure if it worked or not.  It could be that Google’s spider just reached me on its own.  They make no guarantees that a URL added to the list will even get added to their search.  Also, you can go to Google’s Webmaster Tools section.  There you can see when the spider hits your site, find out what queries people use to find your site, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

In my research I also found tips saying that I should include a lot of links in my blog posts.  And also TrackBacks from other blogs would help my ranking with search engines.

I can’t tell you if these tips worked specifically.  But I do know that my posts are coming up in Google searches (and other engines too) and I am happy about that!  By the way, some of the other search engines have similar tools to Google.  But you’ll have to do a little research on your own to find them.  Don’t forget to be a little patient.

Hopefully you have noticed that I changed the style for my blog.  Hopefully you like the results.  I am finding that after the change things aren’t always showing up right.  That has something to do with the way browsers cache web pages.  If things look weird (or don’t appear) it may be due to a conflict with the “old” page that your browser has saved.  You may need to clear your browser’s cache but I think the pages in the cache will expire in time and it will fix itself.  I’m not 100% sure about that.

Why Change?  I recently discovered that my blog seemed to be missing a few features.  For example, there were no trackback links available and I didn’t like the category cloud.  I was using a nice theme named Kubrick that I found out on John Forsythe’s site.  I don’t know John but his site/blog has a lot of good information about dasBlog on it!  I liked the Kubrick theme because it was nice and clean with better colors.  But the default theme “DasBlog” seemed to have more “features” so I wanted to change back.  The problem is that I added my avatar (the caricature of me) to the  Kubrick theme.  I don’t think the standard themes support avatars, although I don’t know why.  So anyway, I needed to revise the dasBlog theme to include a place for my avatar and while I was at it, I changed a few other little things and created my own theme.  It was a good lesson in how dasBlog themes and macros work. 

All in all it is not that difficult to modify this stuff.  Of course, it helps if you are good at CSS.  Unfortunately, I am not.  So I had to cheat a bit.  I hope you like it.  It will probably change again as I find out about more available features.

If you have any issues viewing my blog now, I would REALLY like to know.  Please comment on this post if possible or contact me via email.

Peter Laudati has a good post on his blog about the Microsoft on-line mapping service.  I really agree with the point he makes.  I don’t know what the mapping service is really called but you can check it out here.  I’ve used this service before.  If you haven’t used it, it is Microsoft’s answer to MapQuest or Google Maps.  The product is pretty slick and the aerial photos on it may be the best on the web.  And it has some great 3D features.  But I am not going to debate the pros and cons of one mapping service vs another.  The biggest problem with the Microsoft service is the name.  The website says “Live Search” at the top and “Microsoft Virtual Earth” at the bottom.  And the URL is any of the many url’s that you used to find the site. So which is it?  And what does Live Search mean?  How would I know that has anything to do with maps?  Plus they changed the name a bunch of times including local.live.com (or was it live.local.com?  Who can remember?) and maps.msn.com, etc.  You would think a monster company like Microsoft would have a better idea of how to brand products properly.  No one has to wonder what “Google Maps” or “MapQuest” means. 

In my opinion, this is not the first similar mistake Microsoft has made.  I am a happy C# developer and I love .Net, but I hate the name!  .Net???  What were they thinking?  What does that mean?

There is definitely a lesson to be learned here.  I hate to say it but no matter how great are code is, without good marketing guys we are screwed!